Nearly 25 Turkish citizens stranded in Argentina amid outbreak

Nearly 25 Turkish citizens stranded in Argentina amid outbreak

İdris Emen - ISTANBUL
Nearly 25 Turkish citizens stranded in Argentina amid outbreak

A group of 25 travelers and students currently stranded in Argentina after border gates were closed and flights were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic wants to return to Turkey.

Turkey, which stopped flights at the end of March, did not carry out a rescue operation to Latin American countries, although it repatriated Turkish citizens from many parts of the world to the country with special flights.

Twenty-five travelers and students have said they have been stranded in Argentina.

Gözde Orgun, one of the Turkish travelers stuck in Argentina, was traveling to Latin America before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus emerged. When the virus began to spread, she was in the city of Santa Cruz.

“The first coronavirus case in Argentina was detected on March 13 and the precautions started to be taken on the next day,” Orgun said, adding that she was staying in a trailer with her boyfriend and her dog at the time.

The traveler said that they were not allowed to enter a town when they went to buy supplies to meet their needs, noting that they were brought food by the owner of a nearby farm.

“We were invited to the city when the Argentine press reported on our situation,” she noted, saying that things changed after the news.

Orgun, her boyfriend and her dog moved to Buenos Aires on March 18 after spending two weeks in camps, but when they arrived in the city, a curfew had already been announced.

“Since hotels and hostels are closed, we rented a house at a very expensive price. There were two flights to Turkey at the time we arrived,” she said.

“However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, pets were prohibited from entering Turkey. I had to stay here because I couldn’t find a place to leave my dog,” she noted.

Explaining that she communicated with other people who were stranded in Argentina like her, Orgun said that around 25 people are currently stranded in the country.

“We applied to the embassy and Presidential Communication Center [CIMER] for an evacuation. We shot a video and posted it on social media,” she said.

“The Foreign Ministry contacted us on social media and informed that the evacuation options of citizens in Latin America are being evaluated and that we would be informed when the situation is clear,” she said.

“There is currently a curfew in Argentina. Our families are worried about us. We want to go back to Turkey,” she added.

Turkey repatriates coronavirus patient from Russia

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry repatriated a Turkish citizen who was under treatment after suffering from lung problems from Russia on an ambulance plane.

Haluk Hasan Seyithanoğlu, who was studying medicine in the capital Moscow, was transferred to a hospital after the plane landed at an airport in Istanbul.

The student said he had suffered from the same problem three times before, adding he was happy to be in Turkey.